“The Presentation SeaWorld Asked Not to be Recorded”

At the American Cetacean Society conference in November, I was part of a panel on captivity that consisted of: representatives from two facilities that use captive cetaceans (SeaWorld and the Dolphin Research Center), a distinguished marine mammal scientist (Dr. Naomi Rose) and myself. Right before the session began, we were told that the session wasn’t going to be recorded. I later discovered that SeaWorld had made the request. I speculate┬áthat the reason was so that there wouldn’t be a record of serious professionals like Naomi and myself objecting to captivity. SeaWorld likes to portray critics as “radicals,” and this claim is easier to maintain as long as there’s no evidence to the contrary. However, because openness and transparency are the hallmarks of science and good research, I’ve taken the liberty of uploading to YouTube an extended version of my comments. There’s a brief introduction.┬áThen the talk (PowerPoint with narration) consists of two parts. The first explains why captivity is ethically indefensible. The second argues that SeaWorld’s flawed strategy causes it to fail in its duty to shareholders and stakeholders and results from the lack of the appropriate skill set in the company’s senior managers and Board of Directors.


Palos Verdes Interpretive Center, July 2014.

American Cetacean Society, Los Angeles Chapter, August 2013.

Southern California Marine Mammal Workshop, January 2011. Keynote address.

New England Aquarium, May 2007.